- Danny Granger believes he is close to returning for the Indiana Pacers: ““I feel good,” Granger said following the Friday session, his first live participation in weeks. “I was running, sprinting, playing live for about an hour, so I felt really good.” Since Oct. 28, when the team announced that Granger would miss approximately three weeks with a strained left calf, the sight of the veteran forward had been limited to post-practice shooting drills and sideline cheering. The team’s timeline has long since expired and Granger has missed all 19 games this season. Though he practiced, Pacers coach Frank Vogel announced that Granger would not play Saturday against the San Antonio Spurs. Vogel said there is no new timeline for Granger’s return to the lineup. “It was his first action back,” Vogel said. “He’s a ways away, though.””
- Kyle Korver breaks the NBA record for consecutive games with a 3-pointer made: “Eighty-nine consecutive games with a made three. If Kyle Korver knocks down a three Friday night when the Hawks host the Cleveland Cavaliers Korver will have knocked down a three in 90 consecutive games. That is an insane streak. To give you a little perspective, Ray Allen has never gotten above 47 straight games and he is probably the greatest three-point shooter of all time. Stephen Curry got to 53 last seasons and his streak died. Third place on the list behind Barros and Korver is Peja Stojakovic at 62.” — Korver wasted no time, breaking the record with a 3-pointer six minutes into the game Friday night.
- Russell Westbrook’s first serious injury never scared him: “That line came to mind during my Wednesday chat with Oklahoma City Thunder star Russell Westbrook, right at that moment when he took the premise that I’d entered the conversation with and punched so many holes in it that the chosen narrative for his story of this season that, like it or not, was instantly changed. I thought for sure that Westbrook would admit to being scared by the meniscus tear in his right knee that ended his season last April, that after a lifetime of good health and an NBA career in which he — and not Dwight Howard — was the real ‘Superman’ when it came to avoiding injury, this reminder that he was mortal would send shivers down Westbrook’s steely spine.”
Nah, not really. I don’t really think about it much to tell you the truth. Once I got hurt, I kept playing on it afterwards (in the playoff game). I always tell myself, “If I’m not able to walk, then I won’t play.” And I wasn’t able to walk after I got hurt, so obviously I can’t play. But if I’m able to walk, then I’m going to see what I can do.
- Victor Oladipo continues to shine on and off the court: “Sure, you’ve already heard Victor Oladipo belt out Bill Withers’ 1971 hit “Ain’t No Sunshine” as part of a duet recorded during the 2013 Spirit of Indiana Showcase at Indiana University. But before Thursday, you probably hadn’t heard him sing it with an affable and well-regarded former host of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” — unless, of course, you were at Meredith Vieira’s hella exclusive 2013 NBA draft afterparty (drafterparty). And you weren’t. Because I totally would have seen you there. for the Orlando Magic: “
- Are the Houston Rockets a good or bad team? We can’t seem to figure it out yet: “The Houston Rockets aren’t disappointing. They’re also not convincing. They exist somewhere in a limbo in-between success and mediocrity. They lost a nightmarishly ugly game to the Lakers at home. A week ago they rattled off wins against Minnesota, Memphis, Atlanta and the pitiful Nets, capped off by their best win of the season over the Spurs in San Antonio. They looked like they had it together. Then they dropped games to Utah and Phoenix. Wah-wah. The big takeaway that I have from the Rockets is this. They are neither as good as their record and analytics suggest they are, nor as bad as the eye tests indicate they are.”
- With Dwyane Wade out, the Miami Heat are talking trade: “With Dwyane Wade missing numerous games as he manages knee issues, the Miami Heat have recently started trade talks looking for backcourt help, multiple league sources told ESPN. The Heat (14-5) have a glut of big men and have been looking into trading one for a guard, or to clear a roster spot so they can sign a player later. Center-forward Joel Anthony, who has played in just five games this season, is one of the players who may be available. Wade is still recovering from offseason procedures on his knees and is not currently playing in back-to-back games. Last month, after Wade did play in a back-to-back, knee soreness caused him to miss the next two games. Wade also missed Tuesday’s game against the Detroit Pistons with knee soreness.”
- Not a believer in the Portland Trailblazers? Here are 10 reasons they are for real: “The Trail Blazers are 16-3. After a disappointing loss in Phoenix that ended a double-digit winning streak, Portland is 3-0 in December, including back-to-back home victories over the Indiana Pacers and the Oklahoma City Thunder, two of the best teams in the NBA. There are two things every NBA fan wants to know right now. First, is this Blazers team for real? And second, how are they doing what they’re doing? The answer to the first question is yes, this Blazers team is definitely for real. Does for real mean they will win 50 games or make the Western Conference finals? It’s too early to tell. But it does mean that their record is no fluke. As for how the Blazers are doing what they’re doing, there are plenty of reasons…”
- Derrick Rose is going to be OK, and he won’t rule out a return for the playoffs: “”If I’m healthy and the situation is right, I’m going to be back playing,” Rose said Thursday during a news conference in his first public comments since tearing the meniscus in his right knee Nov. 22. “If I’m healthy and my meniscus is fully healed, of course I’ll be out there playing. But if it’s something totally different and the outcome is not how I would want it to be, there’s no need.” The Bulls declared Rose out for the season after he had surgery on the meniscus Nov. 25. General manager Gar Forman told ESPNChicago.com last week that Rose is “really out” for the season regardless of the Bulls’ potential for a postseason berth.”